Athens to Saranda, Albania / Saranda to Athens, Greece
Last Updated on June 7, 2022
This site contains affiliate links for products and services we recommend. Read my disclaimer for more information. If you make a purchase through these links, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a small commission (for which I am very grateful).
When I travel overseas from Saranda I almost always fly out of Athens because they have incredibly cheap flights to Asia and elsewhere in Europe.
There’s not a lot of practical information about travelling from Athens to Saranda or travelling from Saranda to Athens.
So I decided to put this handy guide together to make it a bit clearer. It’s an easy trip once you know when and where the bus comes and goes from!
Whether you want to take the bus from Athens to Albania, or do the opposite and travel from Albania to Greece by bus, it is simple. Just keep reading!
📚 P.S. Grab access to my Travelling Albania Guide to get a comprehensive insight into more places to visit in Albania (including secret spots that are not recommended in the usual guides!)
Athens to Saranda Bus
Getting your ticket in Athens
It’s advised that you get the ticket before your trip, either earlier that day or the day before.
I have gotten a ticket as late as the late afternoon but if you’re travelling in summer the bus might become busy so get your ticket asap.
You will need to go to the office called ‘Maksa Travel’ which is near the Metaxourghio Metro station (Μεταξουργείο in Greek).
From Maksa Travel Sarande tickets can be purchased in advance so you don’t have to worry in peak season.
This is also where your Athens to Albania bus will leave from. The ticket price is €35.
The bus leaves Athens 2x a day, one in the morning (8 am) and one at night (8.30pm).
When you buy your ticket for the bus from Greece to Albania make sure you double-check the time as sometimes they can change!
There are other agencies where you can get your ticket from but I am just recommending the one way I always get mine from as I don’t know the reliability of the other companies.
🎫 TOP TIP: Looking for tickets to some of the best shows, activities and passes? I highly recommend booking via Viator for the best prices and deals!
Saranda to Athens Bus
Getting your ticket in Saranda
Getting your ticket from Saranda, Albania to Athens, Greece is easy, you just need to go to the ticket office ‘Butrinti Travel’, it’s right next to Dolphin Hostel.
This is also where your bus to Greece from Saranda will depart from. There is a bright red football cafe opposite!
The bus leaves once a day, in the morning at 6.00am.
Make sure you double-check the times for your bus to Athens as sometimes they can change. I urge you to get there at 5.30 as sometimes the bus can leave a little early!
Ticket price is €35 or you can pay in Lek.
Albania to Greece/Greece to Albania Bus Ride
While travelling from Athens to Albania or from Saranda to Greece the ride can take anywhere from 9 hours to 11 hours.
It really depends on the driver and how long the border takes. If traffic is really bad, it might even take longer!
I have been stuck on the border in a big queue for 2 hours once. The bus ride is nothing special but it’s not that bad either.
They stop every couple of hours for a toilet break/ food break. Usually, at the border, you will have to take your hand luggage with you, put it on a table and they will inspect it.
I have also been on a trip where I didn’t even leave the bus! It’s the Balkans so you never know!
The bus is usually in good condition. I have had air-conditioning and a comfortable seat.
And of course, the drivers are all friendly and knowledgable and generally know how to reach Athens by road (or Saranda) without a map.
There’s no wifi but you will find on a lot of Balkan buses that there will never be, even if they promote it.
Other Ways to Travel Between Athens and Saranda
Unfortunately, the only way to travel from Athens to Sarande and vice versa is by bus.
There is no train from Athens to Albania, and you can’t get any flights from Saranda.
In fact, the nearest airport to Saranda is in Corfu! You can read my full guide on how to get from Corfu to Albania.
The only other way would be to rent a car and drive yourself. However, you’ll need to ensure you are insured to drive in both countries.
🚗 Travelling Europe by car? For the best prices on car hire in Europe, opt for Europcar.
Frequently Asked Questions
Greece and Albania border each other, so it depends exactly where you are travelling to and from. When travelling from Saranda, Albania to Athens, Greece (or vice versa) the distance by road is 535.9 km (333 miles) and typically takes 9-11 hours by bus.
Again it depends on where in Greece and where in Albania. You can easily fly between the two, or take a ferry. However, if travelling from Saranda, Albania to Athens, Greece (or vice versa), your only options are by bus or car.
The cheapest way to get to Greece from Albania/Albania to Greece is usually by bus. However, flights and ferries between the two are very reasonable, especially if booked in advance. If travelling between Athens to Sarande the bus is the cheapest option.
I hope that this post made your trip from Athens to Saranda/Saranda to Athens a little clearer on where to get tickets etc. I have been getting a lot of questions about this exact trip! If you have any further questions then make sure you comment below so I can answer them for you.
Other articles you will love: